Inferno (1970 United Kingdom)

This was the final story in Jon Pertwee’s debut season and, although slow, it is the best of a series that, whilst an improvement on latter period Patrick Troughton, seemed a bit stilted and somewhat stuck. Not least because after a ruling by the Time Lords, Pertwee is stuck on earth to help Unit (a hush-hush military brigade headed by the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and there is no time travel. This gave the whole 1970 season a ‘Quatermass’ vibe that is very cosy and British. The story concerns a mission at a research station to bore through the earth’s crust with a view to harnessing what lies beneath as a form of cheap energy. [Read more…]

Tau Zero (Paoul Anderson)

Author James Blish considered this book the ultimate hard science fiction novel. There is something to be said for that. Praise indeed… I have rarely read a novel with such rigorous scientific underpinnings. Anderson had a degree in physics and in other novels it is quite clear that he thought about the properties of fictional planets he created. Anderson had a degree in physics and in other novels it is quite clear that he thought about the properties of fictional planets he created. Anderson takes hard science fiction as far as it will go here.
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Earth Flight (BBC 2011)

Six one hour segments about birds and their habitats and migratory patterns throughout the world. The narration by David Tennant and the music are both just fine. However, the video quality is something the likes of which I have never before seen on any screen, projected or otherwise. The definition of this video seen on a 51″ plasma screen from a distance of 7 or 8 feet is positively astounding. Particularly with Blu-Ray. The first five programs are on birds of six continents: North America, Africa, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. The sixth episode shows details of how these extraordinary images were produced. [Read more…]

BLADE RUNNER (1982 USA)

BLADE_RUNNER_ANIM_G_BURLEYHow much has the world changed since 1982? Life seemed to make more sense. But our minds were unconsciously drifting away from reality, whilst reality slowly made its way towards the visions of this powerful film. ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’, written by Phillip K Dick, was adapted to the screen by English director Ridley Scott into ‘Blade Runner’. [Read more…]

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